Benefits of the Army National Guard

What are the benefits of serving in the Army National Guard?  People serve for many different reasons.  Some of the common reasons include patriotism, money, a college education, a pension, and many other reasons.  With today’s economic uncertainty, the days of job security are long gone.  As a result, many people are considering “part-time” military service as a “second” career or as a means to supplement their primary income.

Some of the major benefits of serving in the Army National Guard include:

  1. Tuition Assistance: If you’re trying to get money for college, the ARNG is awesome.  In many cases, you will qualify for free in state tuition at local universities.  And if not, you will at least get a nice discount.
  2. GI Bill: By enlisting in the ARNG, you can qualify for the GI Bill.  This can help you get free tuition, plus a nice monthly check while you are in college.
  3. Access to Health Care: As a service member you can purchase Tri-Care, which is a low cost medical insurance for you and your family.  Compared to private plans this option is much cheaper.
  4. Great Part-Time Pay: In most cases, you earn four days pay for two days of work each month.  The pay is the “best” part-time job I’ve ever found.
  5. Travel: In some rare cases, you might get the opportunity to travel.  This could be for your military education, for annual training or for a deployment.
  6. Pension: You can earn a military pension for serving part-time for 20 years.  That could be a good financial decision considering most traditional companies no longer offer pensions.
  7. Job Skills: In the ARNG you can learn new job skills that make you more marketable in the work force outside the military.  Best of all, you earn money while you get trained.

If you are considering serving in the Army National Guard, it would be in your best interest to sit down with a recruiter to learn more about what benefits you might qualify for.  In addition, please know that some of the benefits might change from time to time, so make sure you verify what you will get before you sign your name to the dotted line.

If you can think of some other benefits of the Army National Guard just leave a comment to this post to share your thoughts.

What were your reasons for joining the Army National Guard? We would love to hear your stories and reasons. You can post them below, and if you have any questions, you can also ask them, and I will do my best to answer them.

Thanks for visiting.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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7 thoughts on “Benefits of the Army National Guard”

  1. This is a good overall list of benefits of the Army National Guard, but it is important to always check with a recruiter when thinking of joining as the benefits do not always remain the same (ie MGIB vs 9/11 GI bill, current temporary suspension of TA, etc.) And then there are the benefits that aren’t so easy to qualify, such as sense of purpose and brotherhood, and overall experience.

    1. Your idea about talking to a recruiter is spot on. The benefits in the Army and Army National Guard can and do change all the time. What’s current today might be outdated tomorrow. It’s always wise to take the time to educate yourself about the current military benefits.

  2. I think there are many benefits of serving in the Army National Guard. Beyond what you’ve listed here, I’d say the first-class training and experience can really help in your job and in so many other areas of life. Also the friends you make, and of course the honor of service. But in terms of practical benefits, I think this post is a good summary.

  3. The health insurance that’s available–Tricare Reserve Select–has been great for my family. For several years now my employers have paid 100% of the premium for family health coverage, which has consistently cost over $1,000 a month. In April I was laid off, so when my severance and benefits ended at the beginning of July I transitioned to TRS. Once I started my current job I looked at their health plan, but what I’m getting through Tricare for less than $200 a month beats the heck out of the benefits the company plan offers–and for a lot less money. For example, with Tricare if you choose to fill your maintenance medications through mail order, there is no copay. Period. The medicine is free. Even if you fill through a pharmacy, the copays are much less than most civilian health plans.

    1. The Tri Care Reserve Plan is a great deal. It’s very affordable for families and individuals and normally a fraction of the cost of a civilian plan. Best of all, you can even use civilian doctors with the plan.

  4. My friends who qualify for the GI bill really take advantage of it in regards to getting a college education. It has made me strongly considering joining just for that.

    1. Kevin,

      I had the GI Bill throughout college and boy did it come in handy. I used it to pay my rent and utilities and some of my car payment. Best of all, it was tax free. It’s better than having to have a job in college too. When you use your GI Bill, you can free up your time to focus on your studies.


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